The signs of climate change are undeniable, and the inevitable impact for Earth and all its inhabitants is a serious concern. Ice is melting, sea levels are rising, biodiversity is declining, precipitation has increased, atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are alarmingly high, and extreme weather conditions are becoming increasingly common. But what role do microorganisms have in this global challenge? In this Viewpoint article, several experts in the field discuss the microbial contributions to climate change and consider the effects of global warming, extreme weather, flooding and other consequences of climate change on microbial communities in the ocean and soil, on host–microbiota interactions and on the global burden of infectious diseases and ecosystem processes, and they explore open questions and research needs.
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